The infamous ‘Disco Dong’ sculpture on the Bayshore Drive roundabout could be removed by Byron Council within months after an investigation found ‘structural and non-structural’ safety issues.
Councillors will vote on decommissioning the sculpture at its August 22 meeting, following reports that people have been climbing the structure and stopping in dangerous spots to take pictures.
A council report noted that pieces of the structure had been found on the ground.
The report also noted that a structural investigation had been undertaken on July 16 at a cost of $8,000.
It found there was ‘a risk of serious personal injury being sustained by a member of the public due to climbing and falling from the sculpture’.
Added to this were a number of structural flaws and ‘the eventual risk of the sculpture’s structural integrity being compromised’.
In the past month activists have climbed the structure on a number of occasions to hang Extinction Rebellion banners, Aboriginal flags and a toy koala.
Staff estimated the cost of decommissioning the sculpture at between $11,000 and $13,000.
Should the sculpture be removed to storage in a state that would allow reconstruction at a later date, the cost of decommissioning would increase to between $16,000 and $20,000.
The Public Art Panel, at a meeting on June 26, recommended that additional money be spent on ‘finishing’ the sculpture.
The estimated cost of this enterprise, including contingencies, is $35,500.
The minutes from the panel’s most recent meeting on August 5 have not been released by council.
There have been repeated calls from members of the community to remove the sculpture since it was erected in December last year.
This includes at least two online petitions, each of which received more than a thousand signatures.
Council’s art panel has repeatedly argued that the artist responsible, Corey Thomas, should be given the time and resources to finish the job.
It says Mr Thomas was given an unrealistic deadline, and was subjected to repeated taunts and abuse from passing motorists as he worked on the sculpture.